What happens when an employer releases an employee to attend an incident?
Employers may be interested to know what happens to their employee when their pager goes off and they rush out of the door.
Each Brigade, Unit and Group may have slightly different response arrangements. In fact each incident may have different response arrangements.
A CFS Volunteer writes:
"My pager went off when I was in the middle of writing an article for publication that my boss needed by the end of the week.
Luckily I have already negotiated leave agreements with my boss to deal with such a situation. I go past my Manager's office and he tells me to get going.
I drive to the station, trying to keep the adrenalin rush in check as I negotiate the traffic (following all the Australian road rules, as there are no exemptions for emergency services volunteers en-route to the station in a private vehicle).
All the while I am thinking about what might be required for the job, although my pager was not specific so I don't really know what the incident is at this stage. I'm thinking it could be a vehicle accident, a grass fire, a building fire, or a chemical spill. We might be supporting one of the other emergency services such as the Police, the State Emergency Service, the Metropolitan Fire Service or one of the ambulance services.
At the station I quickly change into my protective clothing and get into the appliance. We are all aware it is crucial to respond rapidly, as our quick response could save a life or contain a fire in its early stages to prevent the fire getting much larger. We need to get away quickly, and as I wait I hope other SA Country Fire Service members have been able to get away from work too.
We now know what sort of incident we are attending, and have a safe minimum number of crew on board. It would be better if we had a couple more people, but we have to get going. If we get more crew they can follow us up in the other appliance.
We arrive at the scene and start making it safe for the public as quickly as possible. All our time spent training really shows here. I am proud of what we are doing.
Finally we have extinguished the fire. We return our equipment to the appliance and head back to the station, refueling on the way home. When we arrive back at the station we make sure everything on the truck is ready for the next call out. It could be any second, but I hope it is not this week.
I then return to my work and get on with finishing my publication for my boss. At least this wasn't a long one"